Patriots receiver Julian Edelman returning to team
FOXBOROUGH -- Julian Edelman is back with the Patriots and Tom Brady doesn't have to worry about losing his favorite wide receiver again.
Edelman, who caught a career-high 105 passes with six touchdowns after Wes Welker left for the Denver Broncos before last season, re-signed with New England on Tuesday after testing the free-agent market.
The announcement came three days after a post on Edelman's Twitter account said, "Foxboro is home. Excited to be back."
The Patriots did not disclose details of the contract, reportedly worth $17 million over four years.
His signing is the second in two days of a wide receiver by the Patriots. On Monday, they added Brandon LaFell, who became a free agent after catching 49 passes in his fourth NFL season, all with the Carolina Panthers.
New England also has Danny Amendola, who caught 54 passes in a disappointing, injury-plagued first season with the team. Two rookies also contributed, Aaron Dobson with 37 catches and Kenbrell Thompkins with 32. Dobson is expected to be sidelined at least two months after surgery for a stress fracture in his foot.
Edelman had just 69 receptions in his first four seasons after being drafted in the seventh round out of Kent State, where he played quarterback.
He also had another strong season as a punt returner. His average of 12.3 yards per return over the past five seasons is second best in the NFL, behind Devin Hester's 12.5.
Since free agency began March 11, the Patriots have added LaFell and cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner while retaining Edelman and tight end Michael Hoomanawanui.
They lost cornerback Aqib Talib to Denver and linebackers Brandon Spikes to Buffalo and Dane Fletcher to Tampa Bay. Running back LeGarrette Blount, who rushed for 772 yards and seven touchdowns, remains unsigned.